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Readers React to Sandy Hook Shootings

‘Everything isn’t ok.’ – Patch reader Sue Keller.

The Sandy Hook shootings have shocked the nation and have spurred conversations on everything from gun control to mental health treatment to safety in schools.

See how Westminster and Eldersburg Patch readers reacted to Carroll County school officials, who said Friday there would be more police in local schools the day of the shooting in Connecticut, but that there would be no major changes to the schools’ safety plans.

Tell us in comments: Do more safety measures need to be put in place?

Chris E “While I like having police around schools I feel this is a knee jerk reaction. Why don't we focus on what can be done to make schools a safer place all the time not just when a horrific incident has occurred. Starting with keeping the doors locked at the schools and making sure there is always someone who can see who is walking in the front door would be a good start. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into my son's school to find no staff in the front office at all for an extended period of time. Anyone could walk in and nobody would know until it is to late.”

Paula Dearing “I can't help thinking that with all of the senior citizens we have, and I'm one of them, I think many of them would consider sitting at the door to observe anyone coming in during the day. As a matter of fact, aside from being just ‘people power,’ it would give a lot of seniors a sense of purpose that perhaps they may lack from time to time. Just a thought!”

L.A.P. “Really? This was an isolated event in another state. Could something like this happen here? Unfortunately, yes. The peripheral patrolling of our local schools is no more than ‘show’ and, as others have said, a knee-jerk reaction.”

50 Bales of Hay “If someone wants in, they'll come in. Doors, cameras, senior citizen monitors, staff...nothing will stop a heavily armed intruder with intent other than an armed responder.”  

Sue Keller “Why do some people persist in the notion that we must live as we lived in the 1950s? Clearly, it isn't the 1950s anymore. We need meaningful, daily, consistent security measures in our schools. We lock our doors to our homes, we lock our car doors, we need to lock our schools. … Now, we're supposed to reassure our kids that everything's OK. But we've seen this before. A copycat shooter will surface in the next few weeks or months. But nothing will have changed and we'll be crying over someone else's body. Everything isn't OK. But the powers that be will claim nothing more can be done. And the folks who want to pretend it's still the 1950s will clamor that we can't live in fear and the best thing we can do is resume our lives as if nothing had happened. That's not good enough anymore. Pry some money out of the budget; administrators salaries are ripe for cutting. And now that the biometric scanner lunch pass program is kaput, that should free up some money.”

Kathy December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Yes there was a horrific school shooting, but these incidents are extremely rare--the fact is that our kids are safer from violence in school than just about anyplace. Schools do need to make sure that they follow safety precautions, but we can't turn schools into prisons. My kids elementary school doors were always locked but now that they are in High School that is impractical--too many students coming and going. But this notion that we should have armed "responders" in a school is ludicrous. In what kind of fantasy/action hero world would a teacher or staff member be able to grab their gun, drop and roll to the ground, come up firing, and take out the bad guy without killing a bunch of innocent kids? I think some people have seen too many Tom Cruise movies.
Buck Harmon December 18, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Sadly...the tragedy has been sensationalized.. quiet care is what this community needs..
Nikunj shah December 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Please don't mind my comments it is just an observation. All theses people committing crimes are son or daughter of some parent. I feel to stop these violence we as a parent have to change. If you see the history of these crimes parents of these criminals are either single or has step father or mother. Family has moved 10 or 12 times. They don't communicate well to their kids. It is we have to change.
Native December 18, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Kathy, I think you're the one who's seen too many Tom Cruise movies. Just the fact of a security guard present will deter someone from attacking.
Steven A. Miller December 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Nikunj, that is the most uneducated, ridiculous statement I have ever read. I am a child of divorce. My father was not around. By your thinking, I and my friends who share a similar background, should be mass murderers. I have had an almost 30 year career in public safety. And if anything, my background has given me empathy. Blanket, stupid, statements are not what's needed. Real life realistic solutions are
Buck Harmon December 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM
There is no great science that can fairly diagnose the blanket term "mental illness"... very real possibility of misdiagnose or abuse of such power alone has yet to be addressed...slow, deliberate care must be taken in this situation.
Nikunj shah December 19, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Steven I am sorry my statement is not personalized for you or to heart anybody. I am sure you are great parent I have no doubt on 99.9 percent of single parents. However I was talking about 0.1 percent which might have this issue. I am sorry but I just saw numbers and that is what it says. I feel for those kids and this should be an eye opener for those .1 percent parents so that they can save their kids life along with others.
Kathy December 19, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Because a mentally ill person with full body armor and an assault weapon capable of firing 100+ rounds is going to be deterred by a security guard with a pistol? Or are you suggesting that the security guard be a trained shooter and armed like a Navy Seal? Do you think that the citizens of Carroll County--or any locality-- are going to appreciate the taxes necessary to pay for this kind of security? This kind of incident is extremely rare-- You would save more lives by making sure that kids wear seat belts or cut down on fast food.
Ashly December 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Kathy have you read the news over the last couple of years this is not a rare incident this is becoming an all to common incident in which are children are being killed. The only difference in this incident is the targets of this monster they were not high school kids or adults, they were innocent babies who had yet to experience life they were truly innocent. I would be the first to offer my tax money to put armed personnel in the schools to ensure the safety of my and every one else's children !!!!!!
Buck Harmon December 19, 2012 at 09:57 PM
This is actually a very rare event...it's just sensationalized by the media at a much faster rate than previously because of the advances in technology....seems more frequent but statistically it's not...armed personnel would not solve the problem.
Ashly December 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Buck it may not solve the problem completely but it would give the children and adults a fighting chance if someone who was well trained to combat something like this was in the schools, the shooter would be engaged with this person rather than picking off innocent targets without any opposition. When I was talking about armed personnel I was not talking about a security guard or a teacher I was talking more about police or an ex-military person, someone who has been expertly trained in the field of dealing with armed and dangerous people.
Kathy December 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM
There are over 130,000 public schools in this country. There have been mass shootings at less than a dozen. That is less than 1/10 of 1%. Do you really wanted to put armed personnel in our schools to deal with this? It is not the tax money--it is more the idea of turning our schools into armed camps, and the possibility of an accidental shooting. There are some workable ideas for lessening the possibility of an attack (keeping school doors locked, cameras, etc) but it is impossible to make our schools 100% safe if someone is determined to get in (they don't even have to get in--they could stand across the street and wait for recess). Putting armed personnel in schools is one of the worst ideas.

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